After three years of plucking her nylon-string guitar at a barn turned recording studio in her current home of Portland, Laura Veirs’ seventh folk album offers an earthy, grounded and edgy perspective to the world of music. After gaining a considerable amount of media buzz, as well as topping Billboard’s Heatseekers and Folk charts, Veirs’ album proves that artistic simplicity can overcome the inexorable auto-tuning and synthesising that many artists have been reduced to (no names mentioned. Ahem, ahem). [ed. Despite this dig at autotuning Discorder feels that autotuning and other forms of synthetic processing have made, and continue to make, some wonderful sounds.] Embodying an artistic amalgamation of Feist and Stevie Nicks, the album creates a harmonious balance of sounds, with gentle soothing instrumentals being complimented by raw, edgy and haunting vocals. Stripped down to its bare essentials, there is no reverb, techno beats or anything else to mar the tranquility of the album. It’s the kind of stuff you take with you on a summer scenic road trip by yourself or your favourite backseat driver. The track “July Flame” serves as a patriotic kudos to all things associated with summer, from July Flame peaches (which in fact, were the original inspiration for the track), to “sipping lemonade in a backyard.” Such an album serves as a great reminder to the thousands of students stuck in a dreary, stressful, midterm-laden month, that El Niño levelled temperatures, sun, and a few months of blissful nothingness is not far from sight.